The offseason has been an intense one for Boston Bruins veteran forward Patrice Bergeron who now needs to take some precautionary measures ahead of the 2018-19 season.
The star forward underwent groin surgery in June and he is taking precautions to ensure he’ll be ready for the start of the regular season. He has decided to miss out on an important trip to China with the rest of the team, in order to focus on his rehab.
Bergeron participated in some light drills on Friday, but did not take part in three-on-three or four-on-four scrimmages as he continues to recover from the procedure. His main goal is to be ready when the puck drops on the new Bruins season Oct. 3 against the Washington Capitals, and right now, nothing else matters. Not even a trip to China.
The Bruins and Calgary Flames are set to compete in two pre-season games, one on Sept. 15 in Shenzhen and the other Sept. 19 in Beijing.
“That’s the goal right now,” Bergeronhe told reporters including NHL.com's Amalie Benjamin on Friday.
“At the tail end of it I’d like to get a few games before starting the season. That’s, I guess, the game plan and we’ll see how it goes week-by-week,” he added. “Hopefully I can keep improving like I am right now.”
While the veteran player is hoping to be part of the Bruins' lineup for the season opener in October, nothing is guaranteed at the moment. When the need for the surgery was first reported at the end of the Bruins' postseason run, many expected the forward to be back in action at the beginning of August.
The good sign is that he did take part in Friday's captains practice at Warrior Ice Arena and could benefit greatly from taking the time as the rest of the club heads to China for the preseason contests.
Bergeron set a new personal best for points per game in the last season, in which he registered 30 goals and 33 assists in the 64 games. He also finished third in Selke Trophy voting, the ninth consecutive season in which he’s finished top five in Selke votes.
Bruins fans are definitely hoping to see him back full strength for the upcoming season.